Tag Archives: paternity

“Lord, the Lord Almighty, may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me; God of Israel, may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me.”  (Psalm 69:6, NIV)

As children of God, we represent the “family name.”

All that some people know of God — particularly those who do not know God — is what they see of God in us; and what they hear of God from us. For this reason, it should be our ambition to grow to maturity in the grace and knowledge of God.

Today’s psalm is attributed to David, of whom it was written that he was “a man after God’s own heart.”  (1 Samuel 13:14)

David didn’t always live up to his potential as a warrior (although he was a peerless warrior); as a king (although he was a great king); as a father, or as a husband.  However, when David failed he didn’t make excuses for his failures.  He fought to regain sight of God’s standard, turned his heart toward the Lord, and owned-up to whatever personal sacrifices and behavior changes he needed to return to fellowship with his Creator.

David knew, as we should know, that we are always under observation.  When our children watch us, as they do, what do they see?  When our co-workers watch us, as they will, what do they see?  When our casual acquaintances think of us, as they shall, does integrity, self-control, fairness, gentleness, patience, peace, faithfulness, and love come to mind?

The world watches the children of God.  Does what they see of us; and what they hear from us speak well of our family name?  – Luther

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“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  (Matthew 5:48, NIV)

God expects His children — every one of them — to be as He is.

If it is otherwise, either God is wrong for expecting something of us that we are incapable of achieving; or we do not have His “DNA” and God is lying when He claims paternity.

Today’s scripture verse follows Jesus’ command — with explicit examples — to love our enemies.  It is difficult to love our enemies because love is very personal.  We crave it only from those who matter to us; and we give it only to those we deem worthy.

To love as God loves is the litmus test of our progress toward divine perfection.  Succeed at this one thing, and everything else we do falls into place.  Fail at this one thing, and nothing else we do (no matter how spiritual or sacrificial) matters.

The Gospel of John reminds us that “God so loved the world (the same “world” that would abuse and murder His only begotten Son) that God, nevertheless, gave. . .”  (John 3:16).

When a person accepts the way of Jesus, the Spirit of God is seal of God’s paternity.  The Spirit is the power to be perfect as our Father is perfect.  The Spirit is the strength to love.

It is not easy but, with God, it is possible — and expected.  – Luther

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“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.  For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”  (1 John 3:1, NASB)

The scriptures tell us that a pupil is not above his or her teacher.  If the teacher suffers the slings and arrows of ignorant people, the pupil should expect nothing less.

Jesus is God in human flesh, blood, and bone.  He came because God loved the world; but the world did not return His love.  The world preferred its ways to God’s ways.  The world preferred its gods to the one true, living, God.

The evidence of God’s love is the gift to us of His own name.  As His children, we are His heirs; and as His heirs, all that came to Jesus has also been set-aside for you and me.

With this in mind, always live a life worthy of the Name you’ve been given.  Our heavenly Father’s good name may not always be honored on this earth, but the mere whisper of it anywhere in the universe makes available to us every blessing and gift from heaven!  – Luther

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